Comparing differences between anxiety, post-traumatic stress, catastrophizing and sensory hypersensitivity of individuals with chronic diseases associated with whiplash with high and low symptoms of central sensitization
Background: International data indicate that approximately 50% of people who encounter a whiplash injury will not recover but continue to experience ongoing disability and pain one year after the injury. The trauma and indirect impact at the cervical spine may lead to the development of various clinical manifestations defined as whiplash associated disorders (WAD). Psychological and central sensitization mechanisms may be possible explanations for pain and associated symptoms in people with chronic WAD. Aims: To analyze possible differences between patients with high versus low symptoms of central sensitization (i.e., those scoring above versus below the 40/100 cut-off value on the Central Sensitization Inventory) regarding psychological features (anxiety, posttraumatic stress, catastrophizing) and sensory hypersensitivity (quantitative sensory testing). Methods: The total enrollment for this study will include 120 subjects (between 18 and 65 years) from two university hospitals. The analysis of significant differences between self-reported psychological correlates, sensory hypersensitivity and central sensitization will be performed using the T-statistic test if the distribution is normal and the Mann-Whitney statistical test will be performed if the sample has a non-normal distribution. Significance: This proposal has the potential to explain the mechanism involved in the relationship between symptom severity and psychological aspects in the condition of chronic WAD and to contribute to the advancement of the study of pain.
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